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Kate Bush - The Sensual World CD (album) cover

THE SENSUAL WORLD

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

3.42 | 125 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars While The Dreaming is, IMHO, Kate's prog masterpiece, it is my opinion that The Sensual World is every bit it's equal--perhaps even more masterful in that it comes from a woman with nine years more wisdom and maturity than The Dreaming.

1. The Sensual World (3:57) is one of Kate's most overtly sexual songs (of which she has a few) only this is from the perspective of the experienced woman who knows what she likes and knows how to get what she wants. Definitely a new and future-harkening sound from Ms. Bush. One of my all-time favorite Kate songs. (10/10)

2. Love and Anger (4:42) is another one of Kate's gut-wrenching emotional roller-coaster rides. Drags on a bit in the same range of chords and pacing--though the instrumental performances are rock solid. It feels a bit like other songs of Kate's from preceding albums. (8/10)

3. The Fog (5:06) is highlighted by the incredible strings and guitar work. Another very pleasant dreamy, emotion-based musical journey. (9/10)

4. Reaching Out (3:12) begins like an old ELTON JOHN song, which is appropriate in that it is an emotional song about human nature. The chorus is quite strong, powerful and engaging--one of Kate's strongest on this album. Unfortunately, going back to the soft/delicate A Section is a bit incongruous. But that chorus--and with it Michael Kamen's orchestration and Alan Murphy's guitar work--are redeeming. (8/10)

5. Heads Were Dancing (5:21) starts out just like a DEPECHE MODE song before Kate's unmistakable voice enters. The odd vibratos Kate uses while she holds the "second" syllable of words like "dance" and "do" are a bit too odd. Love Mick Karn's bass work. Eerie song. (8/10)

6. Deeper Understanding (4:46) has a cool JANE SIBERRY/PETER GABRIEL feel to it but doesn't really suck the listener in--it's one of those stories that is a bit too obtuse or obscure for me to get drawn into. (7/10)

7. Between A Man and A Woman (3:30) has such an unusual feel with it's staccato beginning and screech-opened B section. At this point in Kate's career, this kind of beat/rhythm is becoming a bit too standard for Kate's music. (7/10)

8. Never Be Mine (3:44) is another of my all-time favorite Kate songs. Eberhard Weber had been one of my favorite artists for over fifteen years, and I had become entranced by the Western arrival of Les Mysteres des Voix Bulgares (and had even seen the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir in '90) thus, the timely incorporation of The Trio Bulgarika, Eberhard, and with Kate's penchant for Irish/Celtic instruments was both synchronous and popular with me. (9/10)

9. Rocket's Tail (4:07) is creative and risky in that for the first 90 seconds Kate's dreamy and later assertive lead vocal is backed only by the diatonic dissonance of The Trio Bulgarika. Nice try, gutsy, but the "meshing" just doesn't happen. It does better with the engagement of the heavy blues-rock instrumentation. The quirky "He-he-he, he-he-he" part is equally unsettling and almost grating to my ears. (7/10)

10. This Woman's Work (3:38) is quite a highly praised and anthemic song for many--and deservedly so. Powerful in message and delivery. I find myself often skipping it to reach the next song. (9/10)

11. Walk Straight Down The Middle (3:48) is the third of my all-time favorite Kate songs to emerge from The Sensual World. From the opening notes, Eberhard Weber's bass, along with the amazingly fragile-sounding vocal delivery of one of music's all-time great theatrical singers, this song sucks me in. Great rhythms and deeply engaging sound with wonderful and quirky vocal acrobatics. Plus the song employs absolutely masterful use of pauses, timing and spacing, e.g. check out the 2:22-2:39 section followed by the amazing resonant bass and jungle vocal calls. (9/10)

I have to say, in terms of high creativity and gutsy experimentation, there aren't many albums that can top this one. Whether or not it all works or not is definitely a matter of personal opinion. To me this is a 4.5 star album that helps earn Kate the PA inclusion. Kamen, Weber/Karn/Giblin/(Palmer), Gilmour, Trio Bulgarika, the Bush family, and Kate's voice and presentation in peak form all make this a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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